ST. PETERSBURG -- Right-hander Carlos Villanueva arrived at the
ballpark on Saturday afternoon feeling a little more discomfort than
Villanueva surrendered seven runs over just 2 1/3 innings during
Friday night's 12-1 loss to the Rays. After the game, Villanueva
admitted he didn't get anything behind the ball as evidenced by a decrease
in velocity and flat action to his secondary pitches.
"He feels a little bit more soreness from his previous starts, which
is not to be totally unexpected at this time of the year," manager
John Farrell said. "If need be, if that soreness persists, we'll take
every measure to identify if there's anything going on there
physically. But it wouldn't be totally uncommon to feel a little bit more
Most pitchers are forced to go through periods of fatigue at this time
of the year. The only thing that makes Villanueva's situation stand out
is that he went through a similar experience in 2011.
Villanueva was forced to the 15-day disabled list after 13 starts
with fatigue and a right forearm injury. So far this season, he has
made 15 starts, so it's understandable there will be a close eye on the
veteran right-hander for the rest of the year.
Friday's outing, though, was the first time Farrell saw any
indications of Villanueva being flat on the mound. One start won't
cause anyone in the organization to panic, but it's a scenario that
still will be closely monitored.
"He was a little flat," Farrell said. "Their hitters indicated that as
well. It's not because of a lack of effort, preparation. Physically,
he wasn't as he has been of late.
"Particularly the late action to both his changeup and his slider.
Those are the things that really shine through. Velocity can be
somewhat comparable, but it's the late life to the secondary pitches
that indicate he might not feel as sharp."